Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Wolverine Claws to the Top of the Box Office, But the Results are a Little Dull

Scott analyzes the success of The Wolverine and several limited release pictures.  I do want to prognosticate the success or failure of The Wolverine may partly be due to the fact the past film was a critical flop and the other previous Jackman X-Men (Last Stand) flick was also a disappointment.  I have faith the well received X-Men: First Class may allow for better numbers for next years' motion picture.  Though only in the silly world of high expectations and ridiculous budgets is a $55 million opening weekend a disappointment.  Anyway, enough of my meandering, and here is Scott's take on the weekend.

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Going into last weekend, a lot of predictions had The Wolverine earning between $70 and $80 million, with my prediction being at the higher end with $77 million (the reason being that another site already predicted $74 million, which was what I was planning on doing and since I wanted to be different I went with the magic of Ray Bourque).  As time passed by Friday afternoon, the projections were dropping and dropping some more.  At the end of the weekend, The Wolverine finished in the area of $55 million, a similar opening weekend to 2011’s X-Men: First Class and a significant drop from the previous Wolverine focused feature X-Men Origins: Wolverine which took home $85 million in its opening weekend.  The Wolverine sports a budget of $115 million, so should the studio be worried about losing money with this movie?

The answer is a very strong ‘no, they currently have nothing to fear.’  While the domestic opening was well short of expectations, Hugh Jackman’s return to the role of Logan/Wolverine earned a worldwide gross of $141 million this weekend.  There are signs of blockbuster action fatigue in these here parts, but that will not slow this movie down too much.  It still has another 25 markets on its release schedule that it will enter throughout the month of August, so there is much more money to be made.  It is not a dire situation for 20 Century Fox, but at this point they must be noticing the diminishing returns on X-Men movies as of late.  The real test of the franchise will be next year when X-Men: Days of Future Past is released, featuring both the original X-Men cast and the reboot cast and a title that could have used a bit more work.

Elsewhere in cinema world, Fruitvale Station continued its successes as it made tenth spot in the domestic charts earning $4.6 million dollars from 1064 theatres.  That is a very good feat, but it may be reaching its pinnacle as its average dollars per theatre is down to ‘normal movie levels’ at $4,377 from last week’s $21,000.  There is a good chance for further expansion with this movie, but it is quite possible that it has already reached its peak.  However, if word of mouth spreads Fruitvale Station could see a slow accumulation in the box office similar to other limited release movies (Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey, grossed over $20 million with only having two weeks with an average north of $3000 per theatre). Regardless of how it ends up, it is now the 8th in the box office this year and has some early Oscar buzz, both of which should be seen as encouraging progress.

Opening in just 6 theatres was Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, which made $612,000 for an average of $102,000 per theatre.  The movie stars Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett and has a very strong Rotten Tomato rating of 86%.  Meanwhile The Conjuring maintained well with movie goers, only suffering a drop of 47% in its second weekend as it brought in $22 million for an accumulated domestic total of $83.9 million.  Despicable Me 2 is holding strong as it remained in the top three with a weekend box office of $16 million.

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